Cheektowaga, NY

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Cheektowaga is a town in Erie County, New York. It is located in the north-central part of the county and is a suburb of Buffalo. The town has a population of approximately 77,000 and is the second-largest suburb of Buffalo after the Town of Amherst. Sex trafficking and prostitution have been well documented in the city and throughout the County – including within the town of Cheektowaga – for decades, often leading to complaints to police and prompting both local and federal investigations. For example, in April 2005, it was discovered that a man had arranged a limousine to transport at least a dozen prostituted women from Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga to a hotel in Niagara Falls, Canada, where a convention was taking place. The man was convicted in 2011 on federal sex trafficking charges. The charges resulted from a two-year-long federal investigation into an organization for prostitution, sex trafficking, and child sex tourism. Additionally, three men pled guilty to violating or conspiring to violate the Mann Act for taking an “illegal alien prostitute” from Buffalo, NY, to a Jester weekend party in Kentucky. As the result of the broader investigation, the defendant, with the local connection, admitted in his plea agreement to working with national Jester officers to make arrangements to transport the prostituted women from the Cheektowaga airport to Ontario for a national Jester meeting.

In August 2012, a man was arrested and charged with the sex trafficking of minors for acts that took place in various hotels in the towns of Amherst, N.Y., and Cheektowaga, N.Y. According to the criminal complaint, between 2010 and August 2012, The man recruited, promoted, and profited from the prostitution activities of two minor girls knowing — or in reckless disregard of the fact — that the girls were under 18. He also recruited, promoted, and profited from a third victim, a woman in her 20s. The criminal complaint further alleged that the defendant placed advertisements on, and customers were charged $100 per half hour and $150 per hour. One of the minor female victims claims that the man kidnapped her for a week and physically assaulted her. The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and local law enforcement in western New York.

In October 2016, eight women suspected of being part of a prostitution ring were arrested in a sting operation at a Cheektowaga hotel. The Cheektowaga Police Department participated in a collaborative effort with federal law enforcement as part of “Operation Cross Country,” described as a national effort by the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children targeting commercial sex trafficking. In the local sting, the women agreed to perform various sexual acts with an undercover detective for a fee. Two more individuals who transported the prostituting women were arrested and charged with false personation, having outstanding warrants, and drug possession. In August 2019, two men were sentenced to federal prison for conspiring to engage in the sex trafficking of minors in Cheektowaga. One offender managed an “escort” business that advertised two victims on and, according to sentencing documents, did so knowing that both victims were minors who engaged in commercial sex during the appointments. The offenses occurred in January and February of 2015. The arrest and convictions were the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations. In March 2022, the owner of a “Gentlemen’s Club” in Cheektowaga was arrested on federal charges related to drugs, bribery, and sex trafficking.

Among the local efforts to address such problems have been the use of tactics targeted the consumers of commercial sex and sex trafficking operations.  For example, in February, 2022, a Cheektowaga resident was arrested and later accused of using his home to distribute illegal narcotics and solicit prostitutes who were addicted to heroin and crack cocaine, according to a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office of the Western District of New York. In April 2022 the man was indicted on federal sex and drug trafficking charges. During an interview with investigators who were executing a search warrant on his home, the suspect admitted to numerous offenses, including exchanging things of value for sex with prostituted women.  He admitted to purchasing hundreds of dollars worth of heroin and crack cocaine, which he stored at his home, in order to give the drugs to prostituted women in exchange for sex. He also told investigators that he was aware that the women he solicited were addicted to drugs and understood that sex acts they engaged in could not be consensual because he was feeding their addiction as leverage for compelling them to have sex, according to court documents. On Feb 3, 2022 a search warrant was executed at the man’s home on Beach Road in Cheektowaga. The home is located in a suburban neighborhood not far from the Thruway and the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.  Dozens of assorted pieces of BDSM (Bondage, Dominance, Sadism, Masochism) equipment were seized in connection to the investigation, along with drugs, knives, tasers, stun guns and a shotgun. The man’s girlfriend was also inside the home during the execution of the search warrant, and investigators interviewed her while at the scene. She told law enforcement that she had previously worked as an “escort” and met the defendant when he paid her to engage in a sex act, according to court documents. At the time she was addicted to heroin and crack, she told investigators. The man offered to let her move into his home and began providing her with heroin and crack. The suspect and home owner told investigators that two prostituted women overdosed on heroin while at his home within the prior two years.  The man was accused by prosecutors of threatening and transporting two separate women for the purpose of engaging in a sex act between 2018 and 2021. The man could face up to 25 years to life in federal prison, if convicted on charges of sex trafficking by coercion, and various drug and weapons offenses.

Key Partners

Key Sources

Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Local Sex Trafficking and Prostitution:

State New York
Type City
Population 89877
Comments are closed.